'Been away for several days; my husband & I were out of town.
See, my brother & his wife gave us this gift certificate, like 2 years ago, for The Cove -- the BGEA Retreat Center in Asheville, NC. We tried to go last February, and had to cancel. But in August, we got an email about a "marriage retreat" featuring Chip Ingram , so we jumped on it! It was a weekend focusing on our age group (people under 45), so we would have lots in common with everyone there.
We'd never heard of The Cove prior to my brother's gift, & didn't know Chip Ingram either. But man-o-man do we know now!! 330 people were in attendance from 19 different states, & Canada.
It was a wonderful weekend, with a deeply refreshing spiritual message from the speaker. Also though, the fellowship with other Believers - some struggling in their marriages, some not - was priceless.
Mostly, what I'll 'take away' from the experience is how much I appreciate my husband, the blessing of knowing others are out there striving to live a Godly life - that we're not alone in the fight against our culture, & that God's design for marriage/family is part of His 'great shalom' :
“I will bring health and healing to it: I will heal My people and will let them enjoy abundant Shalom and safety...I will cleanse them from all the sins they have committed against me…Then this city will bring Me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations of the earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and Shalom I provide it,” -- Jeremiah 33: 6-9
And so, we're thankful to my brother & his wife for affording us the opportunity. But even more, thanks belongs to God for His ministry among His people, & His hand at work in our lives - leading us toward His Great Shalom.